Nigeria: Confused Kidnappers Cut Oil Production



January 14, 2006: The navy has sent a helicopter to the Niger river delta, to work with gunboats already there, to search for, and catch, gangs engaged in stealing oil from the many oil pipelines in the area. Other reinforcements are on the way, to deal with increased gang violence. The oil gangs are not happy with the interference in their oil theft, and are fighting back any way they can.

The kidnappers of four foreign oil workers now want a state governor, jailed on corruption changes, released. Negotiations are just getting started, so it's not clear what these guys want, or if they even had a plan when they seized the four oil workers.

January 13, 2006: A second state governor, Rashidi Ladoja, of the south-western state of Oyo has been removed from office for corruption. This was more a case of the governor and his political backers having a disagreement over corruption, and who really runs things, with the governor losing.

The kidnappers of the four foreign oil workers are demanding the release of tribal warlord Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, held since last September on treason charges for his activities in the Niger Delta. The kidnappers claim to be members of a new group, "Movement for the Freedom of the Niger Delta."

January 11, 2006: Gangsters apparently kidnapped four foreign oil workers (an American, a Briton, a Bulgarian and a Honduran) and are holding them in a boat offshore. The kidnappers also damaged a pumping facility. Another attack combined to cut Nigerian oil production ten percent.

January 9, 2006: Another major brawl between police and soldiers was averted in Lagos

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